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Sonnylal rambissoon

(Trinidad and Tobago, b. 1926 - D. 1995)


Sonnylal Rambissoon was born in Trinidad and Tobago, the grandson of indentured workers. His maternal grandfather migrated from India as a young man to work on the sugar plantations of the island’s Naparima region, and Rambissoon’s father was a sugarcane worker as well. Rambissoon’s artistic calling led him to Europe, where in 1964, he finished his studies at the Brighton College of Arts and Crafts in England, having spent the summer of 1963 in Paris at the Atelier 17 under the mentorship of the master printmaker Stanley W. Hayter. From 1964 to 1965 he took on postgraduate work at the University of London, and was elected an Associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers.

Although a prolific creator of drawings, paintings, and sculptures, Rambissoon is best known for his prints—particularly his etchings and engravings—which embrace an abstract vocabulary and a wide range of materials, including plywood, vinyl, and Masonite. In 1978, he participated in the Artes Gráficas Pan Americanas project (AGPA). After retiring from his job as a school principal in 1982, he spent two years in London, after which his work shifted largely to painting, becoming more realist and focused on landscapes.

Rambissoon exhibited at the AMA | Art Museum of the Americas in the exhibitions Contemporary Art From the Caribbean: Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago (1972) and Three Artists from Trinidad and Tobago: Vera Baney, Ottaway Jones and Sonnylal Rambissoon (1976). His work became part of the AMA collection through the AGPA in 1981.

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